It was a night of youths at La Vitrola on Friday, April 26th. Post-punk-alternative band Sweet Toothe from London, Ontario headlined the night joined by Montreal locals Sasha Cay, Silos, Heard by Now, and Growing Fins from Toronto. Post-punk-alternative-indie-pop is a pretty spot-on way to describe what the vibe was for this Vendetta Music production.
Locals Heard by Now opened the show and wouldn’t let anyone forget it, as they name-dropped themselves before and after nearly every song. Although the vocals were a little rough here and there, the songs were coming from a solid place and had good structure to them. Unfortunately there was a lack of cohesiveness in the sound that didn’t let their performance take off. Though surely, as the shows pile up for these guys, experience will fix these troubles.
Growing Fins from Toronto took the second spot and stepped things up a notch. They were tight, which made sense considering they’re a band that’s on the road and have gotten to that level of playing. More in the realm of math-prog, the rhythm section was wicked calculated and delivered a tight set. Surprisingly, the lead and backup vocals were shaky and could definitely use some fine tuning. Slick songs and big change-ups really made for an enjoyable set by these guys.
Silos must have gotten really hyped after seeing Growing Fins, because these dudes really came on strong. Definitely too strong. We’re talking pre-show, pretending-your-guitar-is-a-dick-and-pretend-ejaculating-on-your-friends-in-the-front-row-for-like-two-minutes kind of strong. Just saying it for was it was, folks. You fill in the blanks. It was all in good fun though, and there was a lot of charisma coming off the stage. The bassist sporting a fretless bass was definitely the coolest part of the set, alongside the guitarist jumping down and playing in the crowd.
Easily my favourite performance of the night was Sasha Cay. Accompanied by bass and drums, the trio put on a smooth set of sad-but-happy tunes that really connected with the crowd. On-point vocals facilitated the trip. There was a cheerful ambiance in the room. That, as well as the mellow indie flow, made for a good change-up. For fans of Snail Mail, Sasha Cay is in that same vein and plays Montreal again May 10th at the Diving Bell Social Club.
Sweet Toothe rolled on stage to sweep us all away at the end of the night. They started their set with this interlude piece that I could only describe as alien-jazz. These guys and gal were the real deal. Not only were they the tightest performance of the night, but they also took control of the room from the start and had a great sound dialled in. The vocals were on, the drumming was monstrous, and the grooves flowed from heavy mosh to delicate chord changes and more jazzy vibes. This is definitely a band that has their act together. Their alternative post-punk mojo capped the night very well, and they showed why they were headlining band.
Written by Ben Cornel
Photography by Michael Kovacs
*edited by Kate Erickson